What a Day

Good God Almighty! What a day!

We headed out early around 8:30 AM. We stopped by Hess and topped off the diesel tank for the short 3 ½ hour trip to Jekyll.

We spotted a McDonalds a few exits down and decided this would be adequate for breakfast. Anytime I see a sign that says busses welcome I know that I’ll find easy parking for me with my 32 foot travel trailer.

Unfortunately there was a real bus there loaded with real people. It looked like we were on the tail end of their visit so I decided to stay and order.

Now I divert for a slight history and culture lesson. We are in rural Low Country South Carolina. This area for centuries was dominated by a few whites and many straight off the slave ship blacks.

Culturally not a great deal has changed. The Blacks that stayed and did not go north still hold the lower paying jobs and still speak a variation of English called Geechy. I understand Geechy if I think and translate. I had experience living and going to school with many rural black growing up in Durham. So , I learned to understand their language and slang.

So I’m suddenly plunged in a distant long forgotten culture of my childhood, a busload of local blacks in a McDonalds being operated by local blacks. There were all speaking Geechy.

I managed to understand them and they struggled to understand me. We did manage to get breakfast ordered.

I will tell you I was quite surprised to find that they did not offer a country ham biscuit. Country ham is quintessential Southern and is expected to be a breakfast item at any restaurant especially a restaurant in the South. Shame on you McDonalds for not having country ham in the heart of the South.

We headed down the road for the uneventful trip to Jekyll.

About an hour ½ into the trip a car pulls up beside us and beeps their horn and starts pointing to the trailer. From my experience of towing I know this isn’t going to be good. So I turn on the flashers and pull off of VERY busy I-95 South and stop within feet of mile marker 37. I jumped out to cautiously to see what surprise is in store for me.

Upon inspection I find that the right rear passenger tire on the trailer has exploded and is smoking very bad. No fire but it is too hot to touch. The flange and part of the wheel well cover is broken or missing.

Once I determined the fire hazard is over I decide to get on with the tire change. I have a spare and a way to jack up the trailer. All I need to do is get the tire tool out of the pickup tool box and I’ll have it changed in ten minutes.

About a year ago my tool box was broken into while I was at a Carolina Panthers game. Many of my tools were stolen but I did not realize that my tire tool was stolen. So, I do not have the ability to remove the lugs off of my tire. The few wrenches I have do not fit the lugs nor would they have the leverage to remove the lugs if they fit.

So I get back into the idling truck and tell Gigi. “No fear,” she says and she calls the road service provided by her Cingular phone.

I-95 South on the 4th of July is about the busiest a road can be. It is the main artery to Florida and it just so happens this is race weekend in Daytona. Thousands of NASCAR rednecks are streaming by us at 75 MPH in the 90 degree weather.

Cars and trucks are going by so fast and so close that they shake the camper and car.

The dogs are behaving very nicely and everyone is staying comfortable in the AC. Gigi and I have a discussion about whether we will be all mean and pissy or will we choose to stay nice. We agree that we will be nice for now and get mad later.

To make a very long story short we finally get a repair truck to our truck 4 hours later. It costs $170 to remove 5 lug nuts and reinstall five lug nuts.

It would have been a deal at twice the price.

Instead of getting in to the campground early, we arrived around 5 PM.

At this time Gigi and I decided to get pissed off at each other.

Set up was hot but we got through it. Later we decided not to be bitchy to each other and all was well.